As we approach the MLB trade deadline, the Philadelphia Phillies find themselves out of playoff contention, 7.5 games back in the NL East and three games under .500.
So, logic tells you that it would not be a surprise if they unloaded some of their players to rebuild for the future. Such players would include top pitchers Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, and Jonathan Papelbon.
But that’s not the same logic that GM Ruben Amaro Jr. uses.
“They’re all rumors, and we don’t comment on rumors,” he told ESPN’s Jayson Stark. “But I don’t see what the benefit would be to our organization to trade those players. They’re players we’ve got who can help us win, and we’re better off with them than without them.”
Papelbon has 13 saves and a 1.46 ERA this season, and Lee is 8-2 with a 2.55 ERA. Hamels is 2-9 with a 4.45 ERA, but those numbers are not indicative of his career stats.
Amaro says that if he wants to build up a contender again, he is going to center it around his top pitchers instead of trading them away.
“My job is to try and put a contending team on the field every year, and we have a much better chance to be a contending team with both of those guys on the club,” he said. “If we have those guys at the top of our rotation, we’re a better club. … It starts and ends with pitching, as far as I’m concerned. So the more quality pitching you have, the better chance you have to build around that to win.”